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do you remember writing that? >> i do. it was in the aftermath of the o.j. simpson imbroglio. i think it remains to be true today, even though we have a black or interracial president, even though we have made 14 or 15 years since then. we still have a very different way characteristically of coming to these issues. >> can you give us a couple of examples? >> one current example we have seen, henry louis gates and segeant crowley who arrested him. the initial response was to call the policeman stupid.
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in fact, the respond eight currently -- to respond angrily. only one out of five whites liked that reaction. that is just one example of many impinges on race in this society. we tend to look at it quite differently as a consequence of our different histories and different sets of experiences. >> how many years have been with "newsweek"? >> 15 years. >> who is the first person that asked you to write about race? >> that would actually be college. i began writing professionally when i was 18, but i began college when i was 17. before i got my job the "chicago sun-times," my first real writing job, i was editing a publication at my university in chicago.
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we are talking about the late 1960's and early 1970's, a time when race was very much an issue. we were dealing with the assassination of one of the leaders of the black panther party, which was big news in chicago. we were dealing with the aftermath of the king assassination and all of these kinds of issues. we were dealing with riots which tore up the community in which i grew up, both in 1966 and in 1968. my writing about race at that time came out of what was the big story of the age, which happened to coincide with my coming-of-age. >> exactly where in chicago did you grow up? >> i grew up on the west side up chicago in a housing project. henry horner homes.
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last week i was in california. an old friend of mine is the bass player now for earth, wind, and fire. we both grew up in the same neighborhood. we were reminiscing about growing up in that part of the west side. >> what was it like there? >> in one sense, it was like any childhood. we were not aware -- we were aware they were the projects, but we were not aware that it was bad. sonia sotomayor, the most recent supreme court appointee, talks about moving to the projects of the bronx as a step up. lee it was a nicer place then we had been before. compared to the people who had it really well, we learned as we got older, it was not such a great place. it was a place where violence was more normal than what is healthy for kids coming up. it was a pretty tough area. >> what got you to the point where someone thought you could write about this racial issue?
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>> before people thought i could write about the racial issue, i guess they had to learn that i could write. that came about in a number of ways, but i really have to trace it, it comes about most directly from my experience with high school english. i hated english in high school. i hated the assignments. i thought they were boring and other creative. -- and created -- uncreative. i always had a hard time with my english teachers. i was excelling in math and having a hard time in english, because i just refused to do the work. because i always tested well, i was in one of the best high schools in the city. it was not in my neighborhood. it was way on the north side. i remember having, not exactly a confrontation, but a discussion with my senior english teacher, mrs. klinger. she called me up at the end of the class and told me, ellis,
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you are obviously a very bright guy. the work you have done is wonderful, but you are not doing the work in my class. why not? >> i said i am not doing the work because it is boring. so much of the work consists of answering stupid questions at the end of a chapter to prove you have read the preceding chapter. i do not want to waste my time doing that. in exasperation, she said what do you propose to do? i thought for a second and said, the purpose of the class is to determine my ability to research and to write, isn't that correct? >> she said more or less. i said, why don't you let me write? i will write something for you. why don't i write a research paper? i will write a research paper on the history of riots in america. my community had been torn up by riots in the aftermath of the killing of dr. martin luther king. she said fine, write about
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riots in america. for the first time in my life, i actually got turned on by english. i researched riots from the 1920's, overseas, and spent hours in the library. i came back and wrote a 140 page manuscript, as i recall. mrs. klinger took this manuscript home. she was a diminutive whiteshe took it home and came back after the weekend and calls me up and says ellis, i will tell you what. i will give you an "a" in this course. i am really not capable of judging this material. you need to send this to a professional. i paused and said, a professional what? i dunno and professionals.
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-- i do not know any professionals. >> she said, have you ever heard a woman called gwendolyn brooks? send it to her. see what she thinks. we got an address where she was teaching, and i sent gwendolyn brooks this manuscript on riots throughout history. i did not hear anything for weeks, and one saturday i got a call. it was gwendolyn brooks. she says ellis, you have to come down and talk to me. she was teaching at northeastern university in chicago. i take three buses, as i recall, and go see this great woman, not knowing what to expect. i find my way into her office, and there is a very warm, gentle woman who has my manuscript in front of her. histshe pushes it towards me, and what she has done, she has underlined all kinds of things
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and written across the top in both blue and red ink, ellis, one day you will be a great writer. as you can imagine, that was tremendous validation for a kid who came from my circumstances. that was sort of what planted the idea in my head. she actually planted the idea that i should be writing as a profession. she said during our conversation, ellis, i do not know what you plan to do with cash your life, but you should be a writer. i did not know professionals or writers. the idea of being a writer was something that had not occurred to me. once she planted the seed, i became obsessed with it. i was, as you probably guessed, a fairly intense young man. i began to write. within a period of a year, produced two more manuscripts, one was a novel, and one was a
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work of nonfiction which is now lost to history. by the time i got to college, i as had pretty much decided that i really was going to be a writer. >> is she still alive? >> did you ever go back to her and talk to her about what happened after you became a success? >> no, and i have come to regret that. >> is gwendolyn brooks still alive? >> she has also died, but she became one of several mentors that i had in my life. she invited me to join her writers group, which at that hist time, she had a very active writers group in chicago. i did, and i went to several meetings. i was 17 at the time, or maybe 16 at the time, when we had our
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encounter. for me, meeting with the group of old people, meaning people in their 20's and 30's, was not quite working. i dropped out of the group, but >> recently i heard you on a radio documentary. talking to you now, it comes to mind that for someone who deals with this highly intense relationship between blacks and whites and different kinds of people, you talk very quietly. do you realize that? >> i think i am calm, for the most part. i think it's probably because i think of myself as an even- tempered, rational person, but the subjects tend to be inherently volatile. i do not think you need to raise your voice and make them even more volatile. >> do you ever raise your voice? >> of course, everyone gets
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angry at times. >> i notice even your radio voice is very quiet. let's go on to this documentary. i listened to the whole thing on the radio. it was about allison and catherine bellew. what is the series all about? >> it is a series called "against all odds." it looks at the issue of social mobility, how do people who have terrible beginnings, who do not have very much, achieve something of interest and significance? we did a pilot last year with a young somali guy who fled somalia when the war broke out in the early 1990's as a kid. he ended up in a refugee camp in kenya.
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in this camp where there was only a rinky-dink school they had put up, he managed to get one of the highest scores on his high-school completion exams in english, even though it was not his first language. he was living in a one-room shack with no electricity or plumbing with his family. he managed to get into princeton university. i said it was just an interesting story, and so we told his story. this year we have decided we will do four documentaries, some in the united states and some overseas. >> you did this video last year. who are you doing the documentaries for? >> this is a public radio series. it airs on public radio stations across the country. >> can you get it on a podcast,
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or do you have to be there when they run it on the radio? >> it is not on podcast, but you can stream it from my website. we have all the videos and audio documentaries up on the website itself. >> let's show some of the video. who shot the video, and for what purpose? was it used on television anywhere? >> we are using some of it on television, but primarily to be used on the web. jason dean was my assistant. we thought it made sense, since we were doing the audio, video as well. >> it is called "the ivy league refugee." >> he was raised in one of the world's most barren refugee camps, without running water, without electricity, with most
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primitive educational system imaginable. >> our home was made of a plastic sheet provided by the un that covers a few trees that have been joined together using ropes. people sleep on a mat laid on the ground. >> a kiosk sells sugar, tea, vegetables, whatever he could get his hands on. >> at night, you can move out of the houses because shifters are roaming around, trying to prey on people. >> one night, the shifters came. >> my family was raided by three bandits. they came at 7:00 p.m. and pointed a gun at everyone, ordering everyone to lie flat on their chest on the ground. >> he told us, i will kill your father and mother. i will kill you if you do not tell me where the money is. >> he dragged me from bed and
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threw me on the ground, kicking and punching me. >> the family's loss amounted to about $90. it taught him that life without freedom was unremittingly harsh, and freedom for someone like him only came through education. >> where was that shot? >> most of those scenes were shot in kenya in a refugee camp on the border near somalia. it is just an amazing place in many respects. it's amazing that someone like abbas came out of that place. next area impoverished, basically in the desert.
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in order to study, this young man managed to get a rechargeable lamp from care, which ran the facility. every day he would walk over a mile to recharge this lamp in the care facility and then walk back to his home so he could study at night. the interesting footnote to this is that as a result of the work we did with the documentary, he now has a literary agent who is interested in telling his life story. he will probably have a book coming out in the next couple of years. he got to princeton because a visiting professor happened to be passing through the refugee camp and had heard that their little one-room school was actually doing some interesting things. almost on a whim, he said let's get some materials to a couple of the students and have them apply. abbas had never heard of princeton. he thought it was just some university somewhere in the united states. he goes on the internet, and he
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has to go to one of the international aid services to get access to the internet. he applies to princeton. he took his first plane trip to nairobi to take the s.a.t. in order to complete his application. the people who knew him wrote letters of recommendation. shortly thereafter, he gets a fat envelope. he did not have mail service or a phone, so the envelope is delivered to the care office, and the director ends up transporting himself to his home and leaving a message to have abbas come and see him. they celebrate when they find out he has been admitted to princeton. coming from that set of circumstances, princeton was
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literally like a different corner of the world. he called his dorm room luxurious, compared to where he came from. the first time he went to the dining hall, he sees all this food and all of this plenty, and he concludes that must be having a special celebration, because that is when they bring out food where he comes from. it was an interesting adjustment for him. >> where is he right now? >> he just finished up his last year at princeton. he is taking the summer off and doing some work, and then will be going to graduate school. >> here is some more from your video in your conversation. >> in 2003, he took a test for certification. he ranked eighth in the entire country.
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a professor visiting from princeton thought he might be ivy league material. >> i just knew it was a school in the u.s., and that was all. >> i think institutionally, we do not think of these things as really possible. >> you can imagine my joy when i read the fact that i was given admission. >> he was absorbing everything. i sensed right away that he was a little bit in awe of the surroundings. he was definitely friendly and very grateful. right away he struck me as somebody who i had a great feeling about, somebody who would be ok. >> i have enjoyed my stay at princeton university for the last two years. it open so many doors for me and so many opportunities.
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i am here to empower myself with education so that i can go back home and make a difference. >> do you think he will go back home? >> there is not much of a home to go back to. somalia has been a mess for over a decade now. home in large measure for him is a refugee camp where he grew up, and that is no place to go back to. i suspect he will stay in the united states for a while. >> who paid for his education? >> he got a full scholarship. >> he worked two and three jobs when he was in school. he had no money to get here. he ended up borrowing from someone who worked for usaid, because they were so impressed with this young man and the opportunity he had before him. a woman put the cost of his
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airplane ticket on a personal credit card. >> how did you get into audio and video? >> i had been dabbling in audio because i was doing commentary for npr. i basically decided one not actually start producing some? it started with a conversation with some people at the ford foundation. they funded the initial documentary. for the last set, we have several funders who came in, including the atlantic philanthropies, the goldman sachs fund, and ford as well. >> what is your goal? >> i am a journalist and writer. telling stories is what we do.
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my other goal is to explore something that has fascinated me since i was a kid growing up in the projects, the whole idea of what is it that enables some people to get out and succeed and do well, and others in similar circumstances do not? that is part of why it is against the odds. it is a look at people who have persevered and done something. it also reflects another interest i have always had, in allowing people who do not normally get on the national news a chance to tell their stories, like someone from a refugee camp, or the two young ladies you spoke of earlier who came out of foster care. it was important to me to give people like that a chance to tell their story. >> what is the "hope on a pile of bones" story?
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>> it is the story or one set of stories about rwanda and the rebirth of rwanda after the terrible genocide of 1994. we tell the story from the perspective of several people who are really trying to do something great. they are trying to rebuild this country. one is an anglican bishop, and he was actually living in uganda when the genocide occurred. he immediately went back. he was visiting america on a missionary trip of some sort. he goes back to uganda and gathers up a group of ministers
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on a bus and drives them into rwanda. they come across these horrific scenes, some of which have been seen by the national audience. he ultimately decided that what he needed to do was move back to rwanda and become part of the rebuilding process. he started a boarding school, which is now one of the best schools in the country. it was primarily aimed at orphans from the genocide. he also has a ministry that works in the prisons with people who were perpetrators. he has a village that he set up that brings perpetrators and victims together and essentially models living in harmony. >> here is an excerpt from that special. >> i met john in rwanda, but he was in america when they ripped apart his homeland.
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he saw the slaughter as a summons to come home. >> i needed to see what was going on personally. i did not want anyone to tell me. i needed to see it myself firsthand. we saw mass graves. we saw dead bodies. in one home we found 27 dead bodies, including a cat and dog among the human dead bodies. >> he returned to rwanda to live in 1996. he threw himself to the task of building a boarding school. >> the school is the result of the argument that i had in my head. lots of victims were abandoned and left behind. >> that school opened in 2001. it is now one of the best schools in the country. >> what year was the massacre? >> in 1994.
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>> he used the figure 1 million. his>> the figure is in dispute because no one has ever actually cataloged the entire magnitude of the deaths. a common figure that is used is 100,000, which is a count that the united nations came up with, but no one really knows how many were killed there. there are hundreds of thousands of graves. no one really knows, but it is a small country, roughly 8 million people. however you figure it, a huge proportion, perhaps one in 10 or one in eight, died in that massacre. >> how long did you spend there? >> i made a few trips there. the taping for the documentary, we did over a period of a little more than a week in the country. >> do you have any better insight today than you did
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before you got there into why this happened? >> in some sense, that goes into that group of inexplicable things. in another sense, there have been ethnic tensions there for years. the belgians had fostered that in their part in the way they decided to divide up leadership in the country. going back to 1959, there have been mass slaughters that have occurred. there is a long history of this. the government at the time which was a hutu-led government, decided to make a campaign of vilifying the tutsis. they were saying that they were cockroaches, out to destroy the country.
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then you had this event where the president was assassinated, touching off the violence in rwanda. >> out of the 8 million, how many were hutus and how many were tutsis? >> i do not have the exact number in my head. the hutus were the majority. >> building a school was not enough. the bishop also built a village, run by a pastor, where victims of the genocide and perpetrators live side by side. two residents, a victim and perpetrator, explain to me how it works.
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>> how do you feel standing next to a man like this man who killed people during the genocide? >> how can that be? >> it is impossible not to talk to these people and not be emotionally affected when you see this.
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they come from a place of religion. the bishop has made it a point to basically tell them that the christian life demands that they have the capacity to forgive. they have taken that seriously. i think also in the country, not just in this village, there is a sense that we need to get beyond what happened in 1994. the country needs to move on. those two impulses you see coming together in this little village where they end up just forming human relationships ultimately. the woman says she accepts him as her friend, and he expresses his own remorse for what he has done. that is a model the bishop isi should say that you still have lots of tension in that country. when i was there i visited one
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of the prisons. prisoners who were being held 15 years after the occurrence who refused to admit they participated in anything. all of them claim they are innocent. there is a memorial to the genocide. myself and a rwandan journalist see talked to the guard. we go into the facility. we are in there maybe a minute and there is an awful explosion. we come out a little later and discover that the guard to whom we had been talking had been killed by a grenade that someone had tossed at the facility while we were inside. so you still see signs of the tension there, but they are certainly lots of people who are trying very hard to get beyond that. >> let's go on to the story i
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mentioned earlier of the sisters. we do not have video on that, but we have audio. >> the sisters, catherine and allison, were essentially abandoned by their parents. their parents were both alcoholics. the father was a drug addict. the parents split at one point. the mother received custody of them. she was incapable of taking care of them. she decides to take off. they are living in california. she decides to take off with a boyfriend, leaving them in a house where the electricity gets turned off, no phone. the father shows up in texas did them. the and takes -- and takes
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custody of them. he ends up being a drunk and a drug addict. he cannot take care of them. they ultimately end up with an aunt who commits suicide. they get plunged into the foster care system at the ages of 11 and 10, respectively. i found them through a set of networks. once i decided we were going to do these sets of stories, we put out word that we were looking for people who had interesting stories of overcoming adversity. these two girls are both white. >> are they actual sisters, or did they just end up in the same foster home? >> they are half sisters, since they have a different father. >> here is part of their story. >> one day they found a gun. >> we had never known anybody who carried a gun. she said it was for protection.
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we did not think twice about it. >> until later that summer, when allison stumbled on a scene that would stay with her for life. her aunt had barricaded herself in a closet, and the uncle was talking to her through the door. >> he did not want to hurt or scare us. they are talking very hurriedly. i do not remember anything that was said between them, but the next thing we know, there was a huge gunshot. he kicked open the door, and i saw my aunt. she was on the ground in the closet. she had her purse in there with her, and my uncle picked my sister and me up and immediately removed us from the trailer. my sister had not seen anything. i think our uncle closed the door really quickly. he dropped us off at a neighbor's house nearby and left us alone in the living room. it was scary, being seven years
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old. i did not understand why anybody would want to kill themselves. >> where did you find them to talk to them? >> they were in different places. we picked them up at the point where they had entered college, and i should say, they both graduated recently. allison graduated from smith college and catherine graduated from california polytechnic. allison is now working for microsoft and catherine is en route to becoming a veterinarian. they are both doing quite well. we went to both graduations as well. we had several different conversations with the two young women, sometimes at their schools or where they lived. >> in the end, they sounded so
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normal, although it was very emotional from time to time. i kept asking, how did they get through this? >> there were several ways. one is that they had each other. they were the one constant in each other's lives. that happened to be a private foster care facility where there was a social worker who took a very strong interest in them. she became a stable force in their life. they both went through years of professional counseling to help them adjust. they also excelled as students, which gave them a focus for things, even prior to going into foster care. they could always find refuge in their studies. >> what did you learn about foster care? >> i learned that it is not something you want to stay in. these girls were exceptional
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because they managed to age out and do quite well. most end up not finishing school. a huge percentage of them end up in prison. one of the worst things that can happen in society is to end up spending most of your life in foster care. >> in the end, why do you think they talked to you? >> i think they were convinced that i was going to tell their story in a way that was fair and that reflected who they were. secondly, i think that they were justifiably proud of what they had accomplished with their lives. they were interested in sharing their experiences. >> is there video of them? >> we have video, but we have not edited it yet. >> as they grew through their lives, are they doing anything in the way of dealing with others to have these problems? >> i think it is too early to say.
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they both just graduated, and both are in the process of securing their careers at this point. they certainly have a huge social consciousness, and i would not be surprised if they don't do something in the future. >> did they tell their stories on campus? >> in large measure, no. when you are in school, you are interested in being seen as normal and being accepted. for the most part, the first time the people we were talking to really learned about their background was when we approached them and started asking them about people who were important to them. we talked to allison's boyfriend. he really was not aware of her background until she finally told him and also sent a letter
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explaining her background to his parents, because she thought it was important to do it at some point. it was not something they initially told people about. >> how is their name spelled? >> how is their name spelled? >> b-e-l-l-e-w. >> what have you learned about the difference between video, audio, and print? >> i am sure to an old hand like you, this is as obvious as night and day, but i learned a few things. one is that with video, you have to have pictures. if you do not have pictures, you do not have a story. we are scrambling for various pictures. with radio and audio, you need sound. in the refugee camp, my team
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spent hours getting sounds of goats and other things from around the camp, sounds that would place you in that particular environment, which is not all that important in print. one of the documentaries we did was in india. it was a very interesting story that we are going to go with that had to do with a group of women in a little village who had organized themselves and built a road to their village. these were women who had taught themselves how to do this work, and then confronted the men and ended up getting the men to pay them for the work. we decided that was a story we cannot do on radio, because no one spoke english. we did all the interviews the translation and reviewed all
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the tapes and said we just cannot put this on air, because people will be listening to half an hour of language they do not understand. >> how have you found your time being spent, now that you do this plus your column? >> audio and radio work is very time-consuming. there are lots of things to pull together. probably the last year i have spent more time doing audio work than anything else. this year i suspect i will flip a little bit and devote more time to print. i am about to start working on a new book as well. >> what is it about? >> i wrote a book close to 15 years ago called "the rage of a privileged class." >> that is what you were talking about in that column i read at the beginning. >> it was a look at middle- class black america and why at
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that juncture so many people were frustrated and angry. we are in a very different era now. barack obama is president. many african-americans are running or have run fortune 500 companies. we have a couple of black governors. we have a level of achievement that many people found unimaginable even 15 years ago. it seems it is time to take another look at that subject, and what is happening with that privileged class today and what is the meaning of race and class in committee in america today. >> breaking the bonds of tradition, you talk about something called the untouchables. >> this is india, and these are
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the lowest caste groups in india, otherwise known as the untouchables. even though discrimination has been barred since the constitution was approved in india, you still encounter discrimination daily. we focus on a fellow who is doing a number of things in india to try to transform the lives of these people. >> there are untouchables in other countries. explain what they are. >> every country has a caste system, and these are people who essentially are relegated to doing the worst jobs in a society. they often receive little or no education, are treated routinely with disrespect, and just in every way are humiliated. it is hereditary, so you are
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born into it. you can never escape, even if you change religions. >> is there such a thing as literally being untouchable? >> in the cities it is modified and not as intense, but in the villages, they literally cannot touch people. not for this documentary, but for another project i was doing a few years back, i went to a small village in india. the fellow was explaining to me how they were fed by the bosses. he said instead of giving us the food, they just throw it at us. one of the seminal experiences that martin had was that as a young man, he was told he could not receive water directly from a higher caste person. he had to fold up his hands and have the water poured into his
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hands instead of touching a cup. >> i was born in a small town on august 7, 1959. >> martin was the second oldest of nine surviving children raised in poverty. it was not the poverty that bothered him, it was the degradation based on caste. school was not free. when schoolmates were playing ball, he and a few other kids were handed brooms. >> i never liked to go to school. i felt humiliated, stigmatized, and hurt. >> when he was 9, working on the farm with his grandmother, his throat was parched and he asked for water. instead of giving him a glass, the farmer told him to catch
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the water in his hands. >> my grandmother taught me that you have to fold your hands like this. >> martin was learning an essential lesson, how to interact with people without touching them, how to be untouchable. mahatma gandhi called them children of god. the constitution guarantees them equality. they make up roughly 20% of india's population. as many hindus see it, they are condemned to suffer for sins committed in a previous life. >> how can it be called a democracy when 20% of the people are known to be untouchable? >> it is a very sensitive issue with the indian government. the government insists they are treated fairly. they have their own version of affirmative-action in india. as i said, and the large cities, the discrimination is
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not nearly as visible or as oppressive as it is in the small villages. >> can you get completely out of it and not have to admit you are untouchable? >> it is very difficult. a lot of them convert to christianity, as martin has done, or they convert to islam, but there are still identified within their society is people from this lower caste. the woman has taken over leadership of the organization. her father and never told them they were untouchable. they changed their name so people would not associate them with untouchability. the father made the mistake of giving her a name which is a
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very uncommon name as a last name in india. people raise questions as to where she came from, and it really did not work. she ultimately embraced the identity and decided she needed to change the way society treats them. >> can you tell who the untouchables are when you see them? >> no. there is no identifying physical characteristics that will label somebody untouchable. it is really a question of the name and knowing where they came from and who they are. certainly is possible, if one wants to recreate an identity, in the same way in the united states we used to talk of passing, where people who are african-american have very light complexions and just vanish into the white world. it is possible, theoretically, cutting yourself off from your
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family and your history and becoming someone else. >> let's go back to the beginning. how much education do you have? >> i have a master's degree in science and technology and also in other graduate studies as well. i got those at george washington university. >> where do you live now? >> the upper west side in new york city, manhattan. >> do you have children? >> one daughter, and a wife who is an attorney. she works in the attorney general's office. >> i cannot get out of my head, mrs. klinger and gwendolyn brooks. what do you think would have happened if mrs. klinger had not recognized your talent and gwendolyn brooks had not tried to do something about it? >> i think i would have done ok. i was already in a very good school.
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i was on track to succeed, one way or another. like a lot of people, people who come from very modest beginnings and do reasonably well in life, there were a lot of people who helped me along the way. another important mentor of mine was jim hope, now the editor of "foreign affairs." he was the editor of the "chicago sun-times." he actually may be a columnist. he actually made me a columnist. there are few editors of big city newspapers who would have taken a 19-year-old kid and given them a column. >> do you mentor others? >> at one point i ran a program that was based at uc berkeley. i do not like the term "mentor" because it implies you are a wise person giving wisdom to a lot of other young people.
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i certainly help when i can. >> someone listening to this sees you are doing audio, video, and print books and all that. what advice do you give someone as to how they discover if they have this talent? >> by testing yourself, by sending things out. people will ask me if i will read their manuscripts, and if i have time i will do it, but i tell them to send it to an agent. if it is any good, the agent will get back to you. i cannot publish your book, but you only find that out by testing yourself. >> what do you get the most feedback from? >> a lot of different places. "newsweek" is obviously a huge publication. i get a lot of feedback from its readers. i have become well enough known to certain readers that they look for my things.
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i get a lot of traffic on my website at this point. people want to alert me to something or tell me about something. >> "newsweek" is different than it used to be. it has become more like "the economist" than the old "newsweek." >> every print publication is having to recreate itself in light of the economic situation and in light of the internet and the changes it has forced on people. the idea of a mass newsmagazine seems to not appeal to as many people and not as many advertisers as it once did. "newsweek" has made the decision to go in the direction of trying to tell fewer stories but tell them more in-depth.
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it is more focused on commentary now. they are trying to make it visually more attractive. will it ultimately end up being the salvation of "newsweek"? i think we are all looking for a model that works these days. it makes as much sense as anything. >> we can find all of this on what is the future for your audio documentaries? >> we have not figured it out yet. i am focusing on getting some print things in order, and then we will look at the audio schedule. ideally, we will get some stuff out next year, but we have not put ourselves on schedule yet for that. >> given the economy, are you having trouble with funding? >> we have not gone into fund- raising mode yet. some of my funders have said they would be happy to be involved again, and some are not so sure. if we have this conversation in
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six months, i will have a better answer for you. >> ellis cose, thank you very much. >> it is a pleasure chatting with you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> for a dvd copy of this program, call the number shown. for free transcripts, or to give us your comments about this program, visit us online. "q&a" programs are also available as c-span podcasts. >> up next, on remarks by british conservative party leader david cameron. and then ambassador rolf richard
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albrecht but the situation in afghanistan and pakistan. and after that, a discussion on the middle east peace process. tomorrow on "washington journal"; talks about how obama is present -- promoting his agenda during the august recess. jim martin talking about proposals from the republicans and democrats in congress. and the discussion of the book "dread." "washington journal," alive every morning at 7:00 a.m. here and c-span. >> this fall, entered the home to america's highest court, from the grant public places to those only a sizable by the nine justices, "the supreme court."
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coming the first sunday in october on c-span. >> how is c-span funded? >> the u.s. government. >> i do not know. i think some of it is government raised. >> it is not public. >> i want to save for me. my tax dollars. >> how is c-span funded? america's cable companies created c-span as a public service, a private initiative, no government money. >> of british house of commons is in recess until october. our coverage of prime minister questions will resume when parliament reconvenes. coming up, a speech by david cameron. but earth summit joining us from london to talk about the political situation is gavin cordon. nike from joining us. we know by law that prime minister gordon brown and the labour party have to call an
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election by june. >> all the signs that it will be earlier than that. that is the normal time when elections are held. it could cut in june but i expect the first week in may. why don't think that that will be a move for an earlier election now. some mp's unhappy with gordon brown have tried to force him out but i think the time for that has now passed. >> most polls show that david cameron and the conservative party with a 15% edge over labour. with that kind of a lead, what is the conservative party strategy? >> the conservative party strategy is to keep on going. and not to rock the vote. and the big question has been what can labour do to get out a
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whole that they iran? there doesn't seem to be anything that is going to work. the biggest questions are all revolving around the united states -- being hit hard by the recession, and that has made for a lot of tough choices in the coming parliament, and the inevitable public spending cuts and whether it will fall. >> in a speech that we are about the show, david cameron is critical of the anti-crime and anti terrorism measures. because that they are too far reaching. it is resonating with the voters and what else is he trying to do to differentiate himself from gordon brown? >> the top issue of the moment, although there have been concerned about the level of surveill,

CSPAN August 16, 2009 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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